Leaving Pittsburgh this morning, I saw something I had never seen in all my trips to the Steel City: a Steelers No. 13 jersey with the name Marino on the back.
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino is a Pittsburgh native who starred in college at Pitt but was passed by the Steelers and 25 other teams in the 1983 draft. Marino was taken 27th overall, one spot before the Redskins took Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green.
The Steelers, who won four Super Bowls while Marino was in middle school, high school and college, didn’t win a title during Marino’s entire 17 year-career with Miami. In fact, Pittsburgh won just two playoff games during Marino’s first 11 seasons.
Incidentally, the Steelers took defensive lineman Gabe Rivera 21st overall in the 1983 draft. He lasted one forgettable season. Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw was in his final season when Marino was a rookie. Backup Cliff Stoudt took over in 1984 before yielding to unspectacular Mark Malone.